Why CrossFit and Bodybuilding are the Same
Why CrossFit and Bodybuilding are the Same
In the world of fitness, people are typically quite passionate about the mode of exercise in which they participate. The more results a person sees from their methods, the more adamant they become that this is the end all, be all of fitness. One of the strongest examples of strong opinions regarding exercise is the sport of CrossFit. CrossFit has been around for fifteen years now, and has truly exploded to become a household name over the last few. CrossFit has been deemed a cult by many gym goers. In this article, the mindset of a bodybuilder will be compared to that of a CrossFitter.
If we were to draw a fitness spectrum, CrossFit would be at one end, and Bodybuilding at the other. Why is that? Both demographics are athletes, but with extremely different goals. (Some may scoff at the statement that bodybuilders are athletes, but by definition, they are. That is a topic for another day.) A CrossFit athlete is focused on performance. They believe in working to become stronger and faster. A traditional bodybuilder does not care about the amount of weight they load onto a bar. For example, a two hundred and eighty pound bodybuilder curling a thirty pound dumbbell seems odd, but it’s very common. Strength does not equate size, and size does not equate strength. There is a fundamental difference between a weightlifter (which is a portion of CrossFit), and a muscle builder. A weightlifter is concerned with the amount of weight lifted. A muscle builder cares less about the weight used, and more about the stretching and contracting required to achieve hypertrophy. It is expected that these two different demographics have very different goals. Why is there such a rivalry between the two? CrossFitters laugh at the bodybuilder who lacks the flexibility and mobility to move properly. Conversely, the bodybuilder laughs at the CrossFitter who is very strong and fast, but weighs a buck eighty. Neither group desires the achievements of the other, so they do not accept the other’s methods.
Let’s discuss CrossFit. It has been said that CrossFitters ruin CrossFit. Perhaps, with their boasting, that is true. However, for anyone who has trained so hard that they experience a rush of endorphins, it is hard to not share the experience with the first person they speak to. The endorphins bring on strong feelings of euphoria. It makes sense why a CrossFitter shares every bit of their training regime with friends who have not inquired. Among non-CrossFitters, this has shown to be the biggest gripe. As someone who has experienced this euphoria, it is extremely satisfying to push the human body beyond perceived limits. Along with these incredible releases of endorphins, comes a community full of supporting friends, as well as a lifestyle of eating as naturally as possible. This lifestyle is so far off the beaten path of what a typical American embraces.
Bodybuilders also have a not so favorable reputation among non-bodybuilders. The words meat-head, self-absorbed, vain, and juiced are all words used to describe competitors in this sport. Bodybuilders are definitely a breed all their own, but it does not mean that these stereotypes suit the masses. The implications of drug use in order to achieve superhuman results are always lingering. Bodybuilders are known to obsess about their portions, even down to weighing every bit of food which they consume. Obsessing about progress pictures, vascularity, and having paper thin skin are all synonymous with competitors. Each of these are not easily attained. The challenge presented with these goals would of course lead a bodybuilder to discuss such topics, and quite often. Anyone who has experienced the extreme preparation and hard work required to prepare for a show, is well aware of how consuming this sport can be. The average show prep duration is twelve weeks. That is twelve weeks of cooking each and every meal you consume during that time. That equates to 504 meals consumed during that prep, assuming you are eating five meals a day. Some competitors need six meals a day, which takes the competitor to 588 meals. Now that the part time job of food prepping has been covered, then the competitor needs to worry about lifting for ninety minutes a day and also perform nine to twelve hours of cardio each week. So yes, it is impossible to have a life outside of the competitor’s specific goals which could be viewed as self-centered. Progress pictures are posted on Instagram and Facebook so that all of their followers can view and comment on how well they have progressed. Once the trophy is attained, a barrage of stage pictures are passed around social media, and the achievement is very publicly celebrated.
We have delved into both ends of the spectrum here. To summarize; CrossFitters are wrapped up in their excitement and are presumptuous to believe everyone wants to be informed of their amazing athletic achievements. On the other side of the coin, competitors in the different divisions of bodybuilding (bikini, figure, physique, bodybuilding) are wrapped up in their excitement of watching their bodies transform into this physique that resembles that of a superhero in a comic book. They are also very presumptuous in believing that everyone wants to see pictures of them, half naked and flexing on social media captioned with and inspirational quote and what they ate for meal two that day. The point is, it boils down to a passion and a desire to share that passion with the world. The competitor’s progress pictures mean as much to the bodybuilder as the snatch PR means to the CrossFitter.
As much as CrossFitters and Bodybuilders would like to believe that they are in no way alike, they are both more alike than they realize. Despite the actual goals and individual passions, they are exactly alike. They are proud of what they accomplish. They discuss what they are doing and how they plan to achieve their next accomplishment. They are both extremely passionate demographics. Rather than seeing eye to eye on the chosen mode of training, both should respect that the other has something they love just as much as they do. Let’s face it, neither sport is an easy sport. In order to succeed in either (because they are both painful), one must have an undying love and passion for what they do. Bodybuilders and CrossFitters to the core are very much alike. Time to hang up the negativity toward the other.